Healing, Rest, and Magic...Oh My
Life-Work Mashed-Up: Moved my office to get some peace, but my co-workers had other plans.
The world is a pretty heavy place right now and I can't immediately change that (repeats to self a hundred times a day). Even prior to the pandemic I was stressed out and “work-life balance” was an unachievable goal.
Our lives were never evenly balanced allowing us to remain upright... easily. Our lives have always been a mixture of disparate elements that are a roller coaster of alchemic experiences regardless of the chaos. At this point for my sanity, I have surrendered to what I refer to as “Life-Work Fusion”. Every part of our lives is blurring together in some way or fashion.
Mental Health and Homeschooling
During therapy a couple of months ago, I was recalling everything on my todo list and all the other reasons I felt exhausted ... my commitments and responsibilities as mother, wife, friend, business owner, and the like. Not only was life weighing on my thoughts, but the news was constantly reminding me that I live in a society that openly dehumanizes black women's pain.
Without skipping a beat, my therapist asked me when I was gonna rest? I thought to myself, “I will rest when my list is complete”, my face must have conveyed my thoughts. After what seemed like a really long time, she said in a kind but firm voice, “I care about your commitments but you know when you keep talking about how tired you are and don’t rest … it ends up with you having a breakdown”.
My attitude after being read and excepting my reading assignment.
DAMMIT, I didn’t wanna hear it. But she was right. I know how this ends and it won't be pretty. If I don't make time for a rest, my body will do it for me, usually in the form of being sick or a public ugly cry and meltdown over some trivial “thing”, but it won't be about the “thing”.
After seeing that her message had been received, she prescribed listening to the book The Happiness Advantage - The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success & Performance at Work by Shawn Achor.
Admittedly my heart wasn't in it, so it was a challenge to complete but I trust my therapist is trying to empower me with tools to heal myself.
I struggled with completing the assigned reading due to:
It felt selfish to try to have an advantage of happiness in these very heartbreaking times.
I was already exhausted from performing in order to be successful at work.
However, it is not selfish to want to be happy. If more people had their basic needs met there would be more happiness in the world and less soul-crushing heartbreak.
Additionally, I mentally renamed the book to The Happiness Advantage -The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success & Performance in Your Life-Work Fusion. The principles are solid and my therapist will share tools, but how I apply them is up to me.
I couldn’t immediately relate to Shawn’s principles until he referenced his story from a viral TED talk (YouTube video below). As a big sister and a Mom of three I am well versed in the positive psychology of telling your siblings they are supernatural/magic, so you don't get in trouble with your parents.
Shawn's Viral Talk
It wasn’t until my daughter, through her trembling big girl voice pointed out that I always focus on the words she missed and not the one she read correctly, did I realize what I was supposed to get from the book. Not only does her dyslexia and ADHD make it challenging to read but she is healing from the anxiety and shame that is placed on children who learn differently.
Even though I know better and have hours of special ed parent training, I would often without even realizing use negative emotions to get her to focus. Now I start our reading lessons by telling her she already knows how to read. Celebrate the words she has already learned. Instead of telling her, she did it WRONG! I say GREAT JOB you almost had it, you are soooo close. It has made a life-changing difference for us, reading is no longer a frustration it's a time of connection through learning for both of us.
There has been a shift in the way I relate to everyone and everything around me. I realize that no matter how challenging things are right now I can only control me. I used to think preparing for the worst to happen and limiting happiness, saved me from heartache. I now realize that unhealthy practice just robbed me of the joy I could be experiencing at that moment.
Enjoying the moment!
Take time to rest and find the magical moments in your own life
Be well 🌿✨✨✨